What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis.Tennis elbow is an overuse injury caused by stress to the outside of the elbow.  The disorder is common in people who perform racquet sports, but can also occur in baseball and golf.  Repetitive activities, such as gardening, plumbing, computer or construction work, also increase the risk of this condition.  Rather than an inflammatory condition (causing swelling), it is a painful disorder caused by the breakdown of one of the extensor tendons of the wrist.

The following factors contribute to the injury:

  • Repeated wrist extension
  • Playing racquet sports with too large of a grip size
  • Lack of muscle strength and flexibility
  • Direct trauma to the outside of the elbow 

If untreated, the condition can worsen, leading to chronic pain. The good news is that tennis elbow will often heal completely with rest and a dedicated rehabilitation program. Depending on the severity of the disorder, healing can take weeks to months for resolution.